Photo: Chris Dolinski, Founder at Vibehut. Written by Ravil Muldagaliyev
Sitting down to take the IELTS exam is a pivotal moment for many non-native English speakers. For them, the test represents more than just a band score – it’s a stepping stone to realizing their academic and professional aspirations. Vibehut, selected as one of the top video startups in 2023, is pioneering a new approach to English conversation practice that is transforming the entire IELTS landscape. But first, let me share a personal story from the time I was an IELTS student myself.
IELTS Exam: A Personal Story
About 18 years ago, I was in their shoes, toiling away to master a new language that didn’t come naturally to me. I’d been studying English for years, but when test day arrived, my confidence evaporated. Speaking face-to-face with the examiner was intimidating, no matter how much I had prepared. Their Canadian accent and rapid-fire questions felt overwhelming. I stumbled over responses and second-guessed my pronunciation. In the end, I scored poorly on the speaking section, holding me back from my goal of enrolling in a Canadian university.
It was a wake-up call. While my grammar skills were decent, I needed to actually engage with a native speaker to improve my English conversation skills and to sound natural.
So I started actively practicing English conversations. I looked for every chance to chat with native speakers about my day, favorite movies, or current events. I even started random conversations with strangers at the coffee shop. We’d discuss everything under the sun – from food to news and back again.
Gradually, conversing in English felt less daunting and I started to speak English fluently. I became comfortable speaking spontaneously with English speakers without overthinking.
My vocabulary expanded, I improved my conversation skills, and I picked up cultural references that helped me connect better. By the time I re-took my IELTS exam, I breezed through the speaking section with confidence.
Looking back, nothing could have prepared me better than daily English conversation practice. Mastering a language goes beyond textbooks – it’s all about using it actively and authentically.
I tell anyone preparing for major English exams like IELTS: don’t just study concepts, but have real dialogues. Your confidence and score will thank you!
What is IELTS Exam?
The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is a standardized test used to measure English language proficiency around the world. IELTS aims to assess all four language skills – listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
The test was jointly developed by the British Council, IDP Education, and Cambridge Assessment English. It uses a 9-band scoring system, with 1 being a non-user and 9 being an expert user, to quantify English ability. There are two versions of IELTS – Academic and General Training.
Academic evaluates English proficiency for academic settings like universities. General Training focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.
The exam format includes four modules – listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The first three are completed in sequence on the same day while speaking is conducted face-to-face with a certified IELTS examiner.
IELTS scores are mapped to real-world language demands. The results are accepted globally by thousands of organizations for immigration, study, and professional accreditation purposes.
What is the most challenging about IELTS Exam?
For most students, simply registering for the IELTS exam is anxiety-inducing enough. But actually preparing for the rigorous test of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills presents a minefield of challenges.
The biggest challenges students face when taking the IELTS exam are:
Speaking with confidence
The IELTS exam speaking section, involving a one-on-one interview with an examiner, poses a major confidence challenge. Even candidates with good conversational English freeze up in this formal setting.
As Maria, an IELTS instructor in Toronto explained, “Students become so nervous about speaking accurately that it hinders their fluency. They end up stuttering and losing composure.”
For many non-native speakers, the idea of having a fluid dialogue with a native US or Canadian examiner seems intimidating. The fear of making mistakes and being judged erodes their confidence.
Comprehension issues and lack of listening skills
Another ubiquitous struggle is comprehending rapid native speech during the listening test and speaking interview. “Students often get overwhelmed trying to process what the examiner is saying and formulate an appropriate response simultaneously,” said Adele, an IELTS preparation coach.
Even advanced English learners may miss nuances or references when examiners use idioms or cultural examples. This impacts their ability to answer promptly and accurately.
Lack of practice
Insufficient practice for IELTS speaking and writing prompts also impedes performance. “Just as athletes train intensely for competitions, test takers need to put in the practice to master techniques,” Adele explained.
Unfortunately, many students rely too heavily on passive studying rather than actively honing their test-taking skills. Without enough exam-style practice, they flounder in applying their English skills effectively.
How does Vibehut help improve speaking skills and prepare for IELTS Exam?
When I first heard about Vibehut, I’ll admit I was skeptical. As someone who struggled immensely to pass the IELTS exam 18 years ago, I wondered how an online platform could help students overcome the deeply ingrained challenges that I knew all too well.
But after speaking extensively with the founder of Vibehut – Chris Dolinski – and Vibehut users, my views have changed. I saw that Vibehut wasn’t just another study app with IELTS practice tests. It was a connector. A connector between motivated IELTS students worldwide and native IELTS instructors dedicated to their success.
Through Vibehut’s seamless video chat platform, these collaborations happen in real-time. No more disjointed conversations with bots or pre-recorded lectures. Students have authentic, engaging sessions tailored to their needs.
For those grappling with speaking anxiety, Vibehut lets them first observe others conversing naturally. When ready, users can join discussions to practice speaking skills where mistakes are encouraged, not frowned upon.
Users struggling with fast-paced native speech do focused listening exercises while getting tips directly from IELTS instructors. Over time, comprehension clicks and users become more comfortable to start the conversation practice.
Exam technique cements through simulated interviews and individualized feedback. Learners gain the speaking skills to finally convey their thoughts coherently and confidently.
While traditional curriculums and rigid self-study have limitations, Vibehut breaks barriers through human connections. As one grateful user told me, “This is how IELTS exam prep should have always been – personalized, interactive, empowering.”
It’s an incredible platform not only for English speaking practice but also for listening and reading. You can submit your tasks anytime and get an extensive review on it.
After seeing Vibehut’s transformative impact first-hand, I’m convinced this is the future of IELTS exam preparation. Because sometimes, we just need someone to understand our challenges and say: I’ve been there, and together, we will get through this.
Overview of Vibehut for IELTS Students
Vibehut, amongst other things, facilitates video calls and interactive sessions between IELTS students and experienced native IELTS instructors. With instructors based in the US, Canada, UK, and other native English-speaking countries, sessions are available 24/7. At any time of day, students can click to join speaking practice, listening evaluations, tutorial workshops, or exam simulations tailored to any learning style.
As an IELTS student, Paolo from Italy told me, “I can get instant feedback by booking a 1-on-1 interview IELTS prep session.”
Students also form study groups amongst themselves for peer-to-peer teaching. By collaborating and conversing freely in these sessions, they boost confidence and comfort in speaking English.
For founder Chris Dolinski, this learner-driven approach is key:
“Language skills strengthen when students engage naturally without fear of mistakes. Our video platform facilitates that.”
Chris Dolinski, founder at Vibehut
By connecting IELTS exam takers with experienced IELTS instructors worldwide, along with the ability to form self-organized conversation practice video chats, Vibehut has completely changed the IELTS preparation ecosystem. It addresses the core challenges students face through human interaction. As Chris puts it, “This is the future of IELTS exam prep.”
Vibehut transforms IELTS Exam preparation
Traditional IELTS exam preparation often involved tedious self-study and generic materials. Vibehut has upended that model through virtual interactive classrooms specialized for every skill.
As IELTS instructor, Audrey remarked, “Students used to waste time finding relevant materials. Now everything is streamlined. They spend more time actually practicing.”
Structured exam simulations recreate testing conditions. Learners gain experience staying calm under pressure by responding to unpredictable questions from tutors.
Crucially, Vibehut’s community emphasis reduces the isolation of self-study. Learners encourage one another through the inevitable ups and downs.
As Akash explained, “Preparation is stressful. Having a support network makes persevering easier.”
This is echoed by learner Tomas who told me, “I improved so much quicker bouncing ideas off other users. The community really motivated me.”
Vibehut proves that even rigorous language exams can be conquered through meaningful human connections. For once, the process is as fulfilling as the outcome.
Prepare for IELTS Exam through collaboration and expert feedback
A standout advantage of Vibehut is connecting learners worldwide with accredited IELTS instructors. By collaborating directly with native English tutors, students get insights that are missing in traditional IELTS exam prep.
Sessions feel more like free-flowing conversations between friends rather than stiff lectures. Learners open up about challenges and goals.
Tutors provide ongoing feedback aligned with each learner’s objectives, whether it’s boosting grammar, expanding vocabulary, or improving fluency. Students gain self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses areas.
During English conversations, IELTS instructors correct mistakes and highlight techniques to elevate responses. Learners gain insider tips to achieve higher band scores from seasoned IELTS examiners.
By democratizing access to expert guidance, Vibehut provides an invaluable advantage. Learners understand how to apply skills accurately through real-time collaboration. And the community allows participants to gain the skills and confidence to turn their aspirations into realities. That is Vibehut’s special sauce.
Vibehut is empowering IELTS Students globally
With users spanning 141 countries, Vibehut has had a profound impact worldwide by making quality IELTS exam prep accessible. Students who previously struggled alone now feel empowered by a global support system.
Vibehut is creating positive ripple effects at the local level too. I spoke with Lucia, who leveraged the platform to become the first woman in the Ecuadorian little town to get accepted into a foreign university bachelor’s program.
She recalled “When I practiced with my instructor she believed in me when others didn’t. I made my community proud.”
Success stories like Lucia’s are commonplace. By maximizing students’ English skills, Vibehut helps them gain confidence to try new pursuits, whether it’s higher education, career growth, or international exchange programs.
For once, factors like geography and socioeconomic status will not be obstacles to IELTS students. As Chris Dolinski said, “The playing field is leveling. Students worldwide now have every chance to realize their potential.”
Looking to speak English fluently?
For any non-native English speaker, achieving fluency can feel like an unattainable goal. But by providing accessible and collaborative test preparation, Vibehut is bringing that goal closer to reality.
Through English conversations with IELTS instructors and peers worldwide, students build the conversational skills and confidence needed to excel. And while traditional IELTS exam prep courses have limitations, Vibehut breaks barriers through human connections. It turns aspirations into achievements on a personal level.
So if you’re an IELTS student looking to unlock your full potential, there has never been a better time to get started. Sign up on Vibehut and become the future of language learning.